Categories: Patient Education

Do you get a pain from hot, cold, eating, sweet, or sour foods, or maybe just by touching your teeth with a toothbrush? Does the pain come and go? It could be due to sensitive teeth. Make sure to tell us if you have this problem.



Studies show the cause of sensitivity is when the dentin of the tooth is exposed. Dentin is in the porous part of the tooth under the enamel. Exposure can happen because:

  • Brushing too hard at the gum line
  • Recession of gums
  • Gum disease
  • Periodontal treatment
  • Fractured or chipped teeth
  • Tooth wear at the gum line
  • Clenching or grinding

Once the dentin has become exposed, tiny fluid filled tubes that make the dentin porous become exposed too. The tubes are now exposed to the mouth, and connect back to the center of the tooth where the nerve is. Then, hot, cold, touch, sweets, or drinking can cause a pain.


We can show you a better brushing technique, and eating habits to help avoid triggering the sensitive spot. We may also suggest an in office treatment that can take some pain away. We may also recommend a sensitivity toothpaste. And in very severe cases, periodontal surgery can be effective.

Sensitivity toothpaste can block the pain signal from the nerve to the brain or reduce the fluid in the tubes that trigger the nerve. Sensitivity toothpaste works over time – it is not fast acting relief. Once you stop brushing with this, the pain may return.

Always tell us of any pain or sensitivity you are having. If it is sensitivity, we can help you in many ways so you are able to enjoy many types of food and drink.